The tier 1 Investor visa for the UK is subject to new changes which came into force on the 6th of November 2014.
The original investor visa was designed for non–EU nationals who wished to make an investment of at least £1 million or more in prescribed investments (share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or UK government bonds). In return the Tier 1 investor and his/her family may live, work and study in the UK and this visa route can lead to fast track permanent residency.
The fundamental changes are:-
- The previous £1 million threshold for investment has been raised to £2 million.
- Now 100% of the investment must be invested by way of the prescribed investments rather than 75% under the old provisions. You can no longer invest the 25% in other assets such as residential property.
- There is no longer an option to source the investment amount as a loan from a UK financial institution.
- The requirement that the investment must be ‘topped up’ if there is a market value fall in the minimum threshold will be removed. Under the new provisions the investor will be required to purchase new investments to replace part of any investments sold to maintain the original £2million purchase or base value of the investment.
- UK Visa Immigration officers are given new powers to refuse an application if they have “reasonable grounds” to believe that the funds were obtained unlawfully, the applicant does not have control of the funds or the personal circumstances around the application are not conducive to the public good.
At present the prescribed investments allowed under the rules have not been changed however it has been announced that the government will consult further in 2015 on the types of investment the route should encourage to deliver economic advantages to the UK.
By Shamaila Khan, Immigration Solicitor at Davenport Solicitors
For further advice & assistance contact Davenport Solicitors at firstname.lastname@example.org